'Abba' - The Cry of the New Birth


'For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs- heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.'
-Romans 8:14-17

'The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.'

- Philippians 4:5b-7 

'When God breathes new life into us, one of the results of this transformation is new impulse to pray. A natural result of the new birth is the presence of God's Spirit within us, prompting us to cry out to God (Rom. 8:14-17)'
- Dane Ortlund, A New Inner Relish, p. 155 

'God gives us, his children, all things through the gospel. The gospel defines our destiny and our inheritance; it defines for us the whole plan and purpose of God. It is inconcievable that we should pray in a way that is not defined by the gospel.'
- Graeme Goldsworthy, Prayer and the Knowledge of God, p. 79

'If it be man's chief end to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever, then man has attained his end, the sole purpose for which he is made, the entire object for which he exists, when he enters into communion with God, abides in His presence, streaming out to Him in all the emotions, I do not say appropriate to a creature in the presence of his Maker and Lord, apprehended by him as the Good Lord and Righteous Ruler of the souls of men, but appropriate to the sinner who has been redeemed by the blood of God's own Son and is inhabited by His Spirit and apprehends his Maker as also His Savior, his Governor as also his Lover, and knows the supreme joy of him that was lost and is found, was dead and is alive again, - and all through God's seeking and saving love.'
- B.B. Warfield, Faith and Life, 'Prayer as Practice', p. 439

When a child is born its first reflex is to cry. And when the unbeliever is born again the first reflex is also to cry. The new birth's first utterance is a declaration of dependence and each day following is the same. As we pray we are declaring our need, dependence, and insufficiency. We are simply declaring what is true. We need God for all of life. We are dependent upon Him like a child for their father. And the older I get the more I realize my weakness and dependence, and the more I recognize God's fatherly care. He cares for me. He provides for my needs. He comforts me in affliction. He restores me. He protects and defends me. He assures me of a bright future. My impulse is to cry to Him, 'abba', as my Father because I am declaring what I know to be true; God has made me His own, and He has promised to be my Father.

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